Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Area of Study

Our Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) satisfies the academic requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The DPD area of study focuses on preparing you for an ACEND accredited dietetic internship necessary to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

Your choice of study in the area of Dietetics means that you are preparing for a professional career in meeting the food and nutrition needs of individuals and families. Such a career will require top level knowledge of foods and nutrition, proficiency in management of resources, and skill in working with others. You will have the opportunity to fully utilize your abilities and the satisfaction of knowing that in doing your work well you are helping people.

Once you complete all program requirements and obtain a verification statement, you will be able to pursue entry into an ACEND accredited dietetic internship program and take the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s dietetic registration exam. Learn more about the Illinois registration and qualifications to apply for licensure


To prepare students for supervised practice to become entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist who manages food and nutrition services for the public.


  • Prepare graduates to have quality knowledge and skills as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN).
    • Over a five-year period, eighty percent of admitted majors within each class will graduate from the accredited DPD program within four – six semesters after entering the program at the beginning of the junior year.
    • Over a five-year period, sixty percent of the DPD graduates will apply to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
    • Over a five-year period, sixty-six percent of those applying to supervised practice programs within 12 months of graduation will be accepted.
    • Over a five-year period at least eighty percent of students who graduate from the DPD program and complete a dietetic internship will pass the registration exam within one year following first attempt.
  • Prepare graduates to become competent professionals in diverse settings as an entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
    • Over a five-year period, sixty percent of graduates seeking employment within diverse fields of nutrition and dietetics, will have a position within one year.
    • Over a five-year period, each responding senior will express preparedness in at least eighty percent of the areas of competence where better than average attainment was the desirable goal.
    • Over a five-year period, eighty percent of dietetic internship directors surveyed will be satisfied with NIU DPD program graduates’ performance.

Program outcomes data are available on request.

In addition to courses required within the School of Health Studies and outside the school, students pursuing the DPD area of study and seeking verification of DPD completion must

  • Maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 in DPD program courses (see adviser).
  • Must achieve a grade of B or better in the following DPD courses: NUTR 310, NUTR 415 and NUTR 416.
  • The major GPA for the students pursuing DPD verification will be calculated using course requirements in and outside of the school.

For a complete list of courses required to satisfy the DPD area of study, refer to the undergraduate catalog.

The Didactic Program in Dietetics at Northern Illinois University is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995

Learn more about the application, other program requirements, costs and financial aid in the DPD Handbook.